We are likely to have many sad moments in our life but one of the saddest is going to be when a close friend or family member dies. It seems as if it is something that we can never prepare ourselves for, no matter how hard we try. At the same time, however, a little preparation goes a long way. Although the individual may be gone, they can leave behind a legacy that will last for a lifetime. That was what the man did in this story. We can’t prove that it is true but we can tell you it is going to open your eyes to the possibilities and perhaps fill them with tears.
A friend of mine died a few years ago from melanoma.
Gene rang me the day he got his diagnosis and told me he had been given six weeks to live but he was feeling OK.
He only just made the six weeks.
He was happily married to Carol and had been for thirty odd years.
The day Gene phoned me to let me know he was terminal he was at his father’s house, hadn’t told Carol yet.
Only 15 minutes before, whilst he was with his father his older brother had phoned his father to let him know that he had brain cancer and had two months to live.
Gene joked that it was a race between the two of them to get to the end first.
Gene was first. He decided to get his life in order for his wife and family.
He came to work two days later to pack up his things and send his final farewell emails.
It was his 56th birthday so we decided to have a cake.
He blew out the candles and one of the girls got a bit flustered and excited and asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he said ‘very short books’. He was a funny guy and well liked.
A week before he died he rang from his bed to tell me that he was able to get an early pay out from his superannuation and that he had paid the house off for his wife.
He said he thought he would never live to see the day. He only just made it.
On their 25th wedding anniversary some years before, Gene and his wife Carol were travelling in Europe.
He had organised a surprise renewal of their vows on the pretence they were just wandering around looking at historical sites.
They dropped into a particular church in Venice and when they walked in, with his family, the priest was waiting much to the surprise of Carol.
It was the Church his parents had been married in over 50 years before and Gene had organised this from Australia down to the tee without her knowledge so they could renew their wedding vows.
This was a great marriage.
The most amazing thing he did for his wife though, just before he died.
He wrote a whole heap of post it notes and hid them all around the house.
He hid them in places that he knew she would not have the heart to shift, move or clean for sometime, such as his hobby room, clothes, shed etc.
The notes said such things as ‘Spend the money and enjoy yourself’ ‘Sell my car you don’t need it’ ‘Move on’ I will Love you Always’.
She was still finding them nine months after his death and they are now some of the most cherished things she has.
I will always remember Gene as cool. He told me he had no regrets.
He remained connected to her way after he passed.
Gene was a cool guy and his funeral was huge.